Hunter Valley, Wollongong Beach, Sydney and goodbyes

I was still hungover from my trip to Cairns when I got back to Sydney but more steak, lamb chop and yummy food welcomed me so I realized that I’m back with my family (because I only ate affordable food when I was in Cairns haha!). Our whole week was already planned out by Kuya Ega so we could meet most of our relatives there.

We visited Hunter Valley for some wine tasting and probinsiya feels.

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Family photo!

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Cousins! Thank you so much for hosting us!

We visited around 5 winery and drank an x number of wine glasses.

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What’s wine without cheese?

My favorite would be McGuigan. They really have a great wine selection. Well, I guess they didn’t win best wine for nothing. Plus the bartender (bartender ba tawag sa kanila? HAHA) was really friendly.

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Also, another favorite spot of mine was Hunter Valley’s chapel. It was beautiful! I always dreamed of a small wedding in a small chapel and this one was overlooking a lake kaya mas maganda ❤ I am now in search of a chapel like this in the Philippines so help me if you know a chapel overlooking a lake like this one!!

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The Great Solo Trip to the Great Barrier Reef

Ever since I got my Australian VISA, I’ve been waiting for my Cairns trip to push through. I was really 50-50 with this at first because of the expense that I’m going to have but when I got my VISA, I just said, “fuck it. I’m going to find Nemo!!” Lels. We got our VISA 2 weeks after we submitted our applications (which was fast because all the websites I read said it takes a month or more) and a month before our trip. I tried researching a lot about Cairns and how much I’m going to spend and when I saw that it can happen, I immediately booked the cheapest flight I can find to Cairns (which was not really cheap if you ask me huhubells).

The flight to Cairns is around 3 hours and there’s a 1 hour time difference between Cairns and Sydney so yeah, it’s kinda far.

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I arrived Cairns at 9:30AM and I waited for the shuttle to my hostel for about 15 minutes or so. I got to the city at around lunch time so the first thing I did was walk to the city center and look for a place to eat. The weather at Cairns was just as hot as the Philippines and I didn’t even know why I ate ramen for lunch but I did. LELS.

After eating lunch, I went straight to the Cairns Regional Gallery because it’s the only museum open on a Sunday.

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Cairns Regional Gallery

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I am a fan of museums and galleries that’s why I like visiting them when I travel. I stayed there for a while because it’s not that crowded and it was scorching hot outside. HAHA.

After doing a culture tour, I went to the famous Rusty’s supermarket to check out some fresh fruits and vegetables. I thought of buying something to cook the following day but I remembered that I will be out early in the morning and I won’t have time to cook so I just checked out the scene… scene meaning checking out dudes with abs… CHAROT!! Rusty’s closes at 3pm during Sunday so when I got there, it was almost closing time. I just crossed the street to Cairns Shopping Centre to cool down and look for a cold drink. I roamed around the mall and bought some essential things (like an adapter because their plug there is different) and non-essential things (like shirts and other stuff)… Haha!

Since it was Palm Sunday, I went back early to my hostel to fix up for the 5pm mass.

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St. Monica’s Cathedral

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What a beauty their windows are ❤

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Blue Mountain, Featherdale Zoo & a lot of steak

Blue Mountains in Australia is one scenery you must not miss when you visit this beautiful country, especially for nature lovers like me. I fell in love with the wide range of mountains and plains filled with so many trees. If given more time, I would love to walk around more and hike the mountains but since I’m with my parents and I don’t want them to wait for me for 3-4 hours, we just walked around the area for a while. We woke up late on our first full day in Australia, maybe because of the tiring flight we had yesterday, so we arrived there at around 10:30 already. Our first stop was of course, the awesome rock formation called Three Sisters. I was left in awe seeing the valleys and mountains with the Three Sisters on the side. It was such a glorious sight that you wouldn’t forget to thank God for the wonderful world He created for us.

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Kuya Jim, myself and Papa

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Three Sisters

After a quick visit to The Three Sisters at Echo Point, we went straight to Scenic World where I enjoyed so much.

IMG_1686We had lunch first before going on our rides. We first rode the Skyway where we saw the Katoomba falls and the Three Sisters again.

They also have a glass bottom part in the Skyway where you can see how far below you’re going to go if you fall… HAHA. Sobrang nakakanginig ng tuhod!

IMG_1612We crossed to the side of Echo point again and since everybody is required to go down, we just stayed there for a while to enjoy a different view of the Blue mountains.

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My nephew, myself and Kuya Jim

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{Life Lately: Exciting future and going broke}

This year has been amazing despite a few stressful weeks from work and family stuff. So I’ll just enumerate the things that has been happening to me.

1. Spending more time with the boyfriend. Aj resigned from his work last month. I haven’t seen him much though after he resigned because his mom got hospitalized. But now that her mom got back from work, we’ve been spending a lot of time together 😊  He usually brings her mom to Ateneo then waits for her until 5pm so that’s a lot of time together. Lels! The only downside from all these dates is that I’ve been spending so much money. Haha! But I’m still so thankful for the time we’ve been spending together because I know that if he starts working again, we’ll go back to our once a week dates or once every 2 weeks hangouts huhubells. Char.

2. Australia trip! We just got our Australian visa the other day and I’m quite excited… not for the Sydney trip but for the Cairns trip that I’ve been dying to push through. Last December, when I paid for 18K for my phone to get fixed, I thought I’ll be saying goodbye to my Great Barrier Reef dreams but now that the Australia trip will really push through in a few weeks, I said, “Fck it. Let’s go find Nemo!!!” I just booked a flight to Cairns last weekend and now I’m trying to look for cheap tours (hopefully I could do an intro dive). I’m looking online and right now, the cheapest tour that I got is AUD300!! I’m still looking for people to sponsor me… I accept donations. LELS. So right now, I’m not going out and saving for my trip just because I want that Great Barrier Reef experience to be awesome 🙂 I also sacrificed the Les Mis play coming up. HUHUHUHHH!! And also that R2R bag that I’ve been wanting to buy 😦 But I need to keep my priorities straight 😦 Anyways, if there are people reading this and have been to Cairns, give me tips!! I badly need it because I don’t have much time researching about everything. Thanks! Haha!

3. Friends and good news! Recently, I found out awesome and exciting news about my friends. I can’t really tell it to the whole world so I’m going to keep my mouth shut but I’m really excited for this!  Continue reading

Be free, little pawikans

I started this year right with crossing an item off my 30 before 30 list and doing it with people that I love 🙂 Last Jan. 2, Kuya Justine, Gladys, Ate Trina, Blu, Aj and I headed to Zambales to release baby turtles in the ocean.

The travel going to San Narciso was quite long… or I was just getting impatient because we woke up really early and I was very excited to release turtles. This has been in my list every since I saw the movie, The Last Song LELS. When we arrived at San Narciso, we met up with Kuya Justine’s friend and ate breakfast at their house.

After breakfast, we went straight to Crystal Beach. YAY.

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We had a short orientation first from the Pawicare volunteers whom I admire so much because they are all doing this for free. So thank you for protecting these turtles in San Narciso!! 🙂

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Doing some orientation

Since November, there have been more than a thousand eggs that were found in Crystal Beach. Most of them are olive ridley sea turtles so that’s what we released that day. They keep the newly hatched turtles for 2-3 days then release them afterwards. Most of the turtles released to the ocean won’t live though, which is quite sad. And they only come back after 30 years or so to hatch eggs again. That’s the cycle of turtle life, I guess.

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We will free you in a while 🙂

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Unhatched eggs

We’re lucky that there were newly hatched turtles for us to free. So after the orientation, we walked to the beach to release these little babies 🙂

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I’ll never let go, Jack!

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Be free! And please live!

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It was quite a kilig experience for me. Other than the fact that my boyfriend is with me, it’s quite exciting to see these little turtles join the ocean. The waves were quite strong in San Narciso (because it’s also a surfing spot) so I really wish that most of the turtles we freed live.

After the releasing of turtles, we stayed for a while to appreciate the beach and the mountain surrounding San Narciso.

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If you’re interested to release turtles, contact them! 🙂

We went back to Kuya Justine’s friend’s house to have lunch and they were really accommodating us well. We were supposed to have lunch at Pampanga but they insisted and we couldn’t resist the fresh chicken, liempo and veggies that they served us 🙂

When we were done with lunch, we went home right away because we’re all tired. It was quite traffic on some parts of NLEX but we got home safe. Also, on the way home, I saw a full rainbow for the first time. I guess it’s a sign that 2016 will be a good year 🙂

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Goodbye 2015.

I was looking back at 2015 and it was a pretty good year. My theme last year was to experience life. I got to feel life and be in the present. So that’s what exactly I did and here’s a short post to remember the best moments of my 2015.

TRAVELTravels 2015

2015 was a good year for all my travels. I went to 2 international trips (Korea & Taiwan), climbed 3 mountains (Pinatubo, Pulag & Daguldol) and some random trips around the Philippines (Boracay, San Pablo Laguna, Baguio, San Juan Batangas, Laurel Batangas, Siargao, Bicol, Moalboal, Pampanga, Liliw etc). Although there were some months that I was broke because of all my travels, I don’t regret anything. It was a way for me to truly experience life, by being out of my comfort zone and continue discovering myself through different places.

FALL IN LOVE

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This year, I also fell in love and stayed in love. Our love story is 3 years in the making but I’m very thankful that this guy was very patient and persistent. Without him, my life would just be ordinary and I can get used to extraordinary for the rest of my life. For the first time, I realized that being in a relationship doesn’t have to be super hard. You just really have to find someone who will be patient with you. Make sure that you both have the same understanding of love. I’m just very lucky that I found my person and I couldn’t thank God enough for finally answering one of my prayers 🙂

BE HAPPY

Be happy 2015

I also got to spend more time with my family and friends this year. There were also new friends that I met and new places that I discovered. This year, I also had the chance to volunteer more by sharing my time and resources. It was quite a good year for me and this wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the people I love and care about.

That’s my 2015 and things are finally getting good again. I rebuilt myself from my brokenness and became stronger than ever. I started loving life by realizing that life can be shitty sometimes. Because of all the good things in my life, 2016 will be all about gratitude. I will now continue and be more thankful for anything that will come my way. I will continue to live life but with more gratitude 🙂 Let’s go 2016!

Cebu: Moalboal Adventure

 

Ever since 2011, I have been going to Cebu every year. It wasn’t really planned or anything but for some reason, Cebu is always calling me haha! I thought that this year, the Cebu streak will be broken but then Patice, my high school friend, went to Cebu for her thesis and will be staying there for around 6 months. Since her birthday is Nov. 7, Ter and I planned on visiting her for the weekend but our plan was moved to the week after because Patice got booked earlier (HAHA).  It was a very impromptu trip. We booked 2 or 3 weeks before and we clearly don’t have any plans on what to do there. Fortunately for us, Patice fixed the itinerary for the whole trip and it was definitely another Cebu trip to remember 🙂

We had an early morning flight and Patice picked us up at the airport. Our whole trip will be in Moalboal so we went straight to the V-hire that will take us there. The trip was around 2 hours and I just slept during the trip. When we arrived there, we checked in at Moalboal Backpacker’s Lodge located at Panagsama Beach because Patice is a regular there (LOL) then had lunch. After lunch, we went straight to White Beach to swim and rest. Even if it was scorching hot, we still manage to swim and sunbathe under the sun.

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Love these girls so much ❤

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Praying for Humanity

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“Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino

I was in Cebu since Thursday and my iPhone got soaked in sunblock on Friday (HUHUHUHUHUHU!! It’s broken, guys and I just got it 3 months ago huhubells! Goodbye to my great barrier reef dreams next year because I’m going to use my savings to have it repaired or buy a new one huhu!) so I wasn’t able to read up on the current events that happened this weekend. When I got back yesterday, that was one of the first thing I did and I cried for almost an hour just reading headlines after headlines about what is happening to the world. My heart is seriously breaking for all the victim’s families and friends. My heart is breaking for all the countries affected. My heart is breaking even more for those people who keeps on generalizing that all Muslims are terrorists. Most especially, my heart is breaking for the world.

As I read one news after the other, I still couldn’t believe such group could do this to innocent people. I am trying to understand where they are coming from but it just makes me more confused. Although I accepted that not all believes in the same values I believe, this is still too much to comprehend that some people could do such acts.

I don’t want to share hatred for them (because there’s too much hate on the world right now) but I would like to offer a prayer of peace. This is not only an attack to a specific country, but it is an attack to humanity. France already made airstrikes to Syria and it is starting to get scary. I really hope that despite all these, we could spread love, kindness and peace to each other. In this state of fear, I hope we could still give hope to other people who need it. And it is by caring and loving each other whatever race, religion or color. If you want to do something for this world, start by sharing small acts of kindness each day.

It is very timely to share one of my favorite songs in this time of chaos: Imagine – John Lennon

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace.

#TAIWANitthatway Day 5

Our flight was scheduled at 10:30pm so we still have the whole morning to roam around Taiwan. Our plan for that day was to just visit Lungshan Temple (because it’s the nearest to Ximen) and of course, Ikea.

We started our day kind of late since we have a lot of time. We had a quick visit to Lungshan Temple (just one ride away from Ximen) then went straight to Ikea.

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IMG_2019If you guys know me so well, I love furniture shopping and buying stuff for my room. So yes, this is heaven for me. Because I was too focused on the beautiful stuff in Ikea, I lost Marvsz. HAHA! Medyo panic moment because there was no internet and I don’t know how I’ll contact him. I roamed around the 1st floor twice and I wasn’t able to find him. Good thing during the 3rd time, we found each other. It was such a funny moment.

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Reunited and it feels so good haha!

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#TAIWANitthatway Day 4

For our 4th day, we decided to visit the creative parks, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei 101 and Shi Lin food market. It was pretty packed but good thing we were able to visit almost everything. Well, except the Elephant Mountain trail. After grabbing some snacks on the way to the train station, we headed to Huashan Creative Park. We basically just went to the creative parks for Marvs’ photoshoot needs. CHAR! :)) But I enjoyed it as well. Sobrang Cubao Expo feels and there are a lot of cute finds in Huashan 🙂

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